this entire week is a strange dream

Ok this is just a review of stuff I've shared elsewhere, with some additional commentary.

This is an incredibly beautiful idea about choral music, participation, and the internet. The video is kindof hokey, and the sound needs a little bit more fine tuning, especially the aspirations, but holy crap it sounds fantastic. Wow.

This bit of news about this country's major financial institutions snuck under the radar, what with health care reform and all. Perhaps we're going to do something about those too-big-to-fail firms, after all? I had almost given up on that one.

This is why you're fat? Well I find it remarkable that this study has never been done before. I have a suspicion that it's going to be very very important.

But probably not as important as this. Printing organs, or skin, or... missing limbs... Ok! Welcome to StarTrek level medicine. Not quite. But if this technology scales is capability, and if it scales in economy, it could simply remove the need to find donors for transplants. Which means vastly reducing the cost, uncertainty, and complexity of transplant operations. Which means that transplanting becomes a viable treatment for a much greater number of conditions. And while you're regrowing that organ, lets do some gene therapy on the stem cells first. Let's cure the aging diseases as we replace your failing organs one by one. Cheap. Scalable. No need to grow secret armies of organ donor clones in vats. Whole science fiction distopias avoided by one device.

On top of the stuff mentioned in the previous post... what a week. If news was like this more often, I might pay more attention.

what is that unfamiliar feeling

Google stops censoring search results in China.

The US Congress passes a Health Care Reform bill.

And suddenly I feel... represented. As if major players on the world stage back my positions. I mean that feels pretty good I guess.

Now, you can argue back and forth whether it's really in the Chinese people's interest to lose Google*, and you can argue back and forth over whether the health care bill is even a net positive for the American people**. But regardless, many skeptics have been silenced in the past (2?) days. I think it's a remarkable reminder of how powerful ideas can be.

*Their arrival was good for China, and the manner of their exit will be good as well, because it makes clear that the government forced them out. Whether in the years to come, their absence outweighs the light they shone, is to be seen.

**Getting rid of denial of coverage for preexisting conditions, alone, goes a LONG way towards a more humane health care system. I am willing to hold my nose for some of the other crap in there.

remarkable happiness

I wanted to write it down here, for the record as it were, that I am remarkably happy these days.

I want to embellish that statement. I've never really thought of myself as a happy person. I think temperamentally I'm on the sadder side. But when I take my internal temperature these days, it comes back much happier than I might expect.  Than I'm used to.

A lot of is definitely the fault of the person I spend most of my non-working time with. ( <3 )

I think there are other factors too. I'm regaining a lot of the confidence that I possessed when I entered Caltech. Almost all of my deep doubts have vanished. I mostly know who I am, and I'm reasonably happy with that person.

I have to get back to work now (ha!) but I expect that some more deep thinking will show up in the near future.